Struggling with mental health issues like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be a lonely and isolating experience, and it is far more common than most people realize. Here is a list of famous people with posttraumatic disorder to make you feel less lonely.
Anyone can get post-traumatic stress disorder, and many celebrities and well-known persons with PTSD have stepped forward to share their experiences. It’s typical for people to develop severe post-traumatic symptoms and anxiety after experiencing a traumatic event.
PTSD may be diagnosed if these symptoms last for more than a few months. People who have a history of child abuse, lack social support, have persistent chronic stress, or have another psychiatric disease are among those who are at risk for developing PTSD.
Struggling with mental health issues like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be a lonely and isolating experience, and they are far more common than most people realize. So it’s important to know that there are others, including many celebrities and famous people with posttraumatic stress disorder, who have sought help, recovered, and shared their recovery stories. So go through this article to learn about them and also get to know some tips to help with PTSD.
Table of Contents
What is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
A traumatic incident, series of events, or set of circumstances may cause a person to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental disease. A person could perceive this as being emotionally, physically, or even life-threatening, which could have an impact on their mental, physical, social, and/or spiritual health. Examples include violent acts against personal partners, serious accidents, terrorist attacks, war and conflict, rape, and sexual assault, as well as historical trauma.
PTSD has been referred to by many different titles in the past, including “shell shock” during World War I and “battle exhaustion” following World War II, but it does not only affect veterans of armed conflict. All people, regardless of race, nation, or culture, can get PTSD at any age.
Every year, 3.5 percent of adults in the United States experience PTSD. Teenagers aged 13 to 18 have an 8% lifetime prevalence of PTSD. One in 11 people may reportedly receive a PTSD diagnosis at some point in their lives. PTSD affects women more frequently than it does males. U.S. Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives are the three ethnic groups most affected and have greater rates of PTSD than non-Latino whites.
Long after the horrific incident has passed, PTSD sufferers are plagued by vivid, unsettling thoughts and sensations relating to their experience. They may experience dreams or flashbacks of the incident, experience despair, dread, or fury, and feel distant or estranged from other people as a result.
People who have PTSD may avoid settings or people that make them think of the traumatic experience, and they may also respond negatively to seemingly unimportant things like a loud noise or an unintentional touch.
It takes exposure to a distressing, traumatic experience for PTSD to be diagnosed. Directly experiencing an event, seeing a terrible event happen to someone else, or finding out that a traumatic event occurred to a close family member or acquaintance are all examples of exposure. It may also occur due to frequent exposure to gruesome traumatizing information, such as when police officers are exposed to child abuse case specifics.
Risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder
A risk factor is anything that makes you more likely to develop an illness or condition. An estimated 8 million adults 18 and older struggle with PTSD (according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America). Additionally, in the United States, almost 4% of adults experience this illness every year.
Every individual processes trauma in a unique way; thus, there is no one universal method. One person might be able to move on from the incident with time, while another person might internalize it and struggle with the associated emotional pain for years.
People that suffered childhood trauma, like abuse, sexual assault, violence in the home, or even severe disease, are often intensely sensitive to perceived danger as they grow into adults and can be more prone to issues of PTSD.
High-risk individuals include those without family or social support, those who are dealing with other psychiatric conditions, and those who are under a lot of stress on a regular basis. Not all people who go through terrible experiences will go on to develop PTSD. If a person has any of the following risk factors, they are more likely to experience PTSD symptoms:
- A traumatic experience in the past
- An abusive past
- Depression or PTSD in the family
- Substance abuse history
- Poor coping abilities
- Not enough social support
- Continuous support
Traumatic experiences in the past
People who have previously been through a traumatic event—such as rape, vehicle accident, natural disaster, or violent act—are more likely to develop PTSD. A fresh traumatic experience can intensify the adverse effects of previous trauma, and the stress of the trauma might build up over time. This is especially valid for people who experienced severe and prolonged childhood trauma.
An abusive past
The likelihood of developing PTSD is higher among people who have experienced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in the past. These incidents fueled earlier trauma, and any new trauma may amplify their consequences.
Depression or PTSD in the family
People are more likely to develop PTSD if they have a family history of the disorder or depression. A family history of mental illness could also increase the risk. Any sort of mental illness that runs in the family can be the reason for the flare-up of PTSD in people.
Substance abuse history
People who have abused drugs or alcohol in the past are more likely to develop PTSD. A person’s ability to handle the additional stress of a traumatic incident may be hampered by drug and alcohol use disorders.
Poor coping abilities
A person’s susceptibility to PTSD may depend on their psychological functioning and coping abilities. If a person has poor coping mechanisms or poorer levels of psychological functioning, they are more likely to develop PTSD. They can feel powerless to change their situation or hold themselves accountable for the pain.
Not enough social support
According to a large body of research, positive social and familial connections may assist in lessening the consequences of stress and trauma. Contrarily, those who don’t have supportive environments and relationships are more likely to be stressed out and develop PTSD after trauma. The risk is further increased by a social setting that fosters feelings of guilt, shame, stigma, or self-hatred.
A person may experience severe physical and psychological issues as a result of acute or prolonged stress. This may lessen one’s capacity for coping with trauma, raising the likelihood of developing PTSD.
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can begin as soon as one month after a stressful experience, but they can also take years to manifest. These symptoms in social, professional, and romantic interactions bring on significant issues. They may also make it difficult for you to carry out regular activities as usual.
Intrusive memories, avoidance, unfavorable changes in thought and attitude, and changes in bodily and emotional reactions are the four main categories of PTSD symptoms. The severity of symptoms can change over time or from person to person. An adult must experience all of the following for at least one month in order to be diagnosed with PTSD:
- At least one symptom has returned
- At least one symptom of avoidance
- Two or more arousal and reactivity symptoms
- Two or more mental and emotional symptoms
Reexperiencing/relieving symptoms include
Thoughts and memories of the trauma cause people with PTSD to constantly relive the experience. Hallucinations, nightmares, and flashbacks are a few examples of these. When some situations, such as the anniversary of the incident, or other things, trigger strong negative emotions in them, they may also experience severe anguish.
Avoidance symptoms include
The person may try to avoid things, people, ideas, or circumstances that might make them think about the trauma. This may cause the person to feel distant and alone from their loved ones and friends and lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed.
Arousal and reactivity symptoms include
Excessive emotions, issues with interpersonal relationships, such as having trouble experiencing or expressing affection, sleep problems, irritability, explosive rage, difficulties focusing, and being “jumpy” or quickly startled are a few of these. Physical symptoms such as rapid breathing, muscle tension, nausea, diarrhea, and elevated blood pressure and heart rate could also be experienced by the person.
Cognition and mood symptoms include
This relates to thoughts and feelings of blame, estrangement, and terrible recollections. Cognition and mood symptoms might begin or worsen after a traumatic incident, but they are not caused by injury or substance abuse. These symptoms can cause a person to feel alienated or distant from friends or family members. The signs of mental and emotional symptoms are
- Having difficulty recalling essential details of the terrible incident
- Negative perceptions of oneself or the world
- Feelings that have been distorted, such as shame or blame
- Loss of enthusiasm for enjoyable activities
PTSD does not only have the above-mentioned symptoms. It can have many other signs which may not even be that apparent for people to connect it with PTSD and could be mistaken for something else. Many people who have PTSD may have a number of other issues, such as:
- Various mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or phobias
- Self-destructive or self-harming behavior, such as drug or alcohol abuse
- Some of the other physical symptoms are headaches, dizziness, chest pains, and stomach aches.
- PTSD can result in work-related issues and relationship breakdowns.
The severity of the symptoms
The intensity of PTSD symptoms might change over time. When you are generally stressed out or come across memories of what you went through, you might have greater PTSD symptoms. For instance, you might hear a number of firecrackers and remember a war situation. Another scenario is when you see a news broadcast on a sexual attack and are plagued by flashbacks of your own assault.
PTSD in children
Both children and adults can suffer from PTSD. Children with PTSD might experience symptoms comparable to adults, such as difficulty sleeping and disturbing nightmares. Children with PTSD, like adults, may lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and may have physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach problems. Other symptoms you may notice in children with PTSD can be:
- challenging behavior
- avoiding everything related to the horrific occurrence
- re-enacting the tragic event through their play
Diagnosis of PTSD
PTSD is not diagnosed until at least one month has passed since the traumatic incident occurred. If PTSD symptoms are evident, the doctor will begin an evaluation with a thorough medical history and physical exam. Although there are no lab tests to explicitly diagnose PTSD, the doctor may perform a variety of tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of the symptoms.
If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or another mental health professional who is specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for the presence of PTSD or other psychiatric conditions.
The doctor bases their diagnosis of PTSD on reported symptoms, including any problems with functioning caused by the symptoms. The doctor then determines if the symptoms and degree of dysfunction indicate PTSD. PTSD is diagnosed if the person has symptoms of PTSD that last for more than one month.
When to seek medical advice?
After a traumatic event, it’s common to have disturbing and perplexing ideas. Still, for most people, these thoughts are usually of famous people with post-traumatic stress disorder after a few weeks. If you are still having issues four weeks after the traumatic event or if the symptoms are very bothersome, you should see your doctor. Your doctor will want to talk to you in as much detail as possible about your symptoms.
They will inquire as to whether you have recently or in the distant past gone through a traumatic occurrence and whether you have relived the event in flashbacks or dreams. If your doctor determines that you would benefit from treatment, they may suggest that you see a mental health professional.
Here are 11 famous people with posttraumatic stress disorder
As was previously established, anyone can experience trauma or the aftereffects of witnessing a terrible event. The notable persons with PTSD listed here exemplify that not even wealth or celebrity status can render a person immune to PTSD.
Oprah Winfrey, an author, and TV host, is another name on the list of well-known individuals who suffer from PTSD. When she presented a program on sexual abuse in 1986, she said that a relative had sexually assaulted her when she was just nine years old, and she had endured years of abuse from other people. Her child passed away too soon. She now supports victims of sexual assault.
She even opened up in her book “What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing” about a lot of the trauma she suffered as a child. This included being beaten until she was covered in blood and seeing ferocious fighting between her grandma and grandfather. Thankfully, she has managed to recover from the trauma.
As the frontman of the popular band Rolling Stones, Sir Mick Jagger is well-known on a global scale. However, fame does not shield people from traumatic stress disorders, either acute or post-traumatic.
The suicide of his lover caused the lead vocalist of the rock band “The Rolling Stones” to get PTSD. He could not perform again for a month due to that upsetting incident. When his mental health issues were made public, Mick Jagger reportedly felt “very distressed.” It’s encouraging for the rest of us to know that PTSD may affect anyone.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the mega-pop star Lady Gaga revealed that she suffered from PTSD after being repeatedly raped when she was 19 years old by someone that she knew.
Gaga said part of the reason she never dealt with the trauma appropriately was that her life was turned upside down once she got famous.
Recently, a treatment center verified that well-known musician Chris Brown had a history of aggressiveness, primarily brought on by PTSD and bipolar disorder. He was said to have thrown a brick through the car, assaulted his ex-girlfriend, and engaged in a scuffle. Inappropriate self-medication, chronic sleep deprivation, and untreated PTSD were further factors contributing to his violence.
5. Abraham Lincoln
The former President of the United States had it as well. He nearly drowned when he was seven years old, his mother died two years after, and his older sister died ten years later. He could not marry the girl he adored and lost three of his children while they were still little. When he was murdered in 1956, he had clinical depression and PTSD symptoms.
Shia LaBeouf, 31, came up with his difficulties with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2018. When he was three years old, his parents divorced, and he learned that his mother was being raped. His emotional struggles were long disguised but eventually became apparent when he was jailed in Georgia for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
Labeouf has constantly feared someone pursuing him or his mother since he was a toddler. “I always thought someone was going to break in,” Shia says. He found that he had PTSD while in therapy.
Aria Grande has spoken out about her experience with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her PTSD was triggered by a suicide bombing at her concert in Manchester, UK, in May 2017.
Interestingly, she underwent a brain scan, which revealed the physical effects of PTSD on her brain. She openly shared the brain scan with her fans on Instagram, demonstrating the difference between a healthy brain and a PTSD patient’s brain. During the ordeal, her fans have been highly supportive.
Charlize Theron, a well-known actress from South Africa, is the next name on the list of renowned people suffering from PTSD. Charlize Theron, one of the most attractive actresses in Hollywood, had a difficult childhood, with her father becoming drunk and assaulting her and her mother.
She kept the truth hidden for years, claiming that her father died in a car accident. She was attempting to forget the night her mother murdered her father in an attempt to protect herself and her daughter.
Whoopi Goldberg’s life was never the same after seeing two planes collide in the air. She travels extensively for gigs as a talk show host, actor, and comedian. She experiences panic attacks every time she boards an aircraft. She is currently receiving counseling to help her with this issue.
10.Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
After her husband was killed, J. F. Kennedy’s first lady suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her compulsive recounting of this occurrence and how difficult it became for her to sleep at night due to the fear that someone would kill her too were never made public, but she did address it in a subsequent biography.
11.Major General John Cantwell
John Cantwell discussed how he kept his PTSD a secret for 20 years while serving in the army in his autobiography Exit Wounds. He started to worry that his car might contain bombs, so he began to steer clear of them as much as possible. Due to his remorse as a survivor, he attempted suicide. After spending a week in a psychiatric facility, he decided to retire.
Tips to help with PTSD
After suffering a terrifying or dangerous event, such as a sexual assault or a potentially fatal accident, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that causes flashbacks, nightmares, and uncomfortable symptoms, including rage, sleep problems, and a negative view of the world.
Although there is therapy for PTSD, some people may be able to use self-help methods to learn how to deal with PTSD triggers on their own. You can manage PTSD using these four techniques.
- Dispel whatever feelings of helplessness you may have
- Start incorporating exercises
- Contact others for assistance
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle to aid in the treatment of PTSD
Dispel whatever feelings of helplessness you may have
The process of getting over PTSD is gradual and continual. The healing process and the ability to recall the experience entirely take time. This might occasionally make life seem challenging. However, there are several actions you may take to manage the lingering effects and lessen your dread and anxiety.
The key to recovering from PTSD is getting past your sense of helplessness. Trauma makes you feel defenseless and exposed. It’s critical to constantly remind yourself of your strengths and coping mechanisms so that you can get through challenging situations.
One of the best ways to reclaim your sense of power is by helping others: volunteer your time, give blood, reach out to a friend in need, or donate to your favorite charity. Positive action directly challenges the sense of helplessness, a common symptom of PTSD. Some positive ways of coping with PTSD are
- Learn about PTSD and trauma.
- Join a support group for PTSD.
- Develop your relaxing skills.
- Engage in outdoor pursuits.
- Put your trust in someone you know.
- Spend time with uplifting individuals.
- Avoid using drugs and alcohol.
- Enjoy nature’s tranquility.
Start incorporating exercise
Exercise has benefits for those with PTSD beyond only releasing endorphins and boosting mood and outlook. Exercise can really assist your nervous system to become “unstuck” and start to emerge from the stress response that causes immobilization by focusing deeply on your body and how it feels as you move.
Walking, jogging, swimming, or dancing are examples of rhythmic exercises that work both your arms and legs. Pay attention to how your body feels rather than what’s going through your mind. Take note of your breathing pattern, the sound of your feet hitting the ground, the feel of the wind on your skin, etc. Martial arts, boxing, weightlifting, or rock climbing. These activities might help you concentrate on your body motions because failing to do so could result in injury.
Being outside. Veterans can manage their PTSD symptoms and adjust to civilian life more easily by participating in outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing. The tranquility, solitude, and relaxation that come with being outside in nature are advantageous for anyone with PTSD. Find regional businesses that provide chances for team-building or outdoor leisure.
Contact others for assistance
You could feel cut off from other people if you have PTSD. You could feel tempted to isolate yourself from friends, family, and other people. But it’s crucial to maintain contact with your surroundings and those who are important to you. People’s compassionate support and company are essential to your healing, even if you don’t want to talk about the trauma.
Make an effort to connect with someone who can listen to you for an extended amount of time without interrupting or judging you. This person should also not be easily distracted or judged. That person might be your spouse, a member of your family, a close friend, or a licensed therapist. You might also try:
- Helping a buddy in need or giving of your time. You can regain your sense of control by doing this, which is not only a terrific way to interact with others.
- Joining a support group for PTSD. This can lessen your sense of loneliness and isolation while also giving you crucial advice on managing your symptoms and advancing your recovery.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle to aid in the treatment of PTSD
It’s crucial to look after yourself and form some healthy lifestyle habits because the symptoms of PTSD can be taxing on your body. Following a healthy lifestyle is always a good idea as it has long-term benefits for your mind and body. Some things you can do are
- Enjoy some downtime. The body’s relaxation response can be triggered by relaxation practices like meditation, deep breathing, massage, or yoga, which will lessen the symptoms of PTSD.
- Avoid using drugs and alcohol. You might feel tempted to use alcohol or drugs as self-medication when dealing with distressing emotions and painful experiences. However, drug abuse makes many PTSD symptoms worse, hinders treatment, and can exacerbate interpersonal issues.
- Adopt a balanced diet. With a healthy breakfast and balanced, nutrient-rich meals throughout the day, you can keep your energy levels up and your mind sharp. Include foods like fatty salmon, flaxseed, and walnuts in your diet, as they include omega-3s, which are essential for emotional health. Limit processed meals, fried food, refined carbs, and sugars because these can amplify mood swings and energy swings.
- Get adequate rest. Lack of sleep can bring anger, irritation, and moodiness. Every night, try to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Establish a soothing sleep routine (watch a hilarious movie, listen to peaceful music, or read a short book) and keep the noise level in your bedroom as low as possible.
Getting PTSD treatment from a professional
It’s critical to get care as soon as possible if you think you could have post-traumatic stress disorder or a loved one might. The easier it is to recover from PTSD, the earlier it is addressed. The only way to overcome PTSD is to face what occurred to you and come to terms with it as a part of your history, so if you’re hesitant to get treatment, remember that PTSD is not a sign of weakness. Having a skilled therapist or doctor to provide direction and assistance makes this process much simpler.
It makes sense that you would want to keep hurtful thoughts and emotions at bay. However, PTSD will worsen if you try to numb yourself and ignore your memories. You can’t entirely control your emotions; they surface under duress or whenever you let your guard down, and attempting to do so is draining.
Your relationships, your capacity to function, and the quality of your life will all suffer as a result of the avoidance. As some of these well-known PTSD sufferers have detailed in their own accounts, the symptoms of PTSD can reappear years after the traumatic incident has taken place.
Age, income, success, or notoriety are all irrelevant factors in PTSD. Trauma is a pervasive problem. It takes time and continual effort to recover from PTSD. Both healing and the ability to recall the experience completely are processes that take time. Because of this, life occasionally seems challenging.
You may, however, take a number of steps to manage the lingering symptoms and lessen your fear and anxiety. Our article might help you realize that you are not alone in this battle against PTSD, and there are some famous people with posttraumatic disorder that are suffering behind closed doors. Give it a good read to allow yourself to realize that you are not alone, and follow our tips to help soothe your PTSD.